Tennis French Open Peer Suffers Another Early Exit on Once-beloved Clay

Shahar Peer fails to win a single set against Spanish rival Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez at the French Open.

Shahar Peer crashed out of the French Open yesterday, failing to win a single set against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Her Spanish rival, ranked number 86 in the world, won a hard-fought first set before easily disposing of the 20th-ranked and 19th-seeded Israeli 7-6 (4 ), 6-1.

Clay had been one of Peer's favorite surfaces until this year, when her recent struggles on it sent her sliding down the rankings after flirting with the Top 10.

Shahar Peer returning the ball to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in Paris on May 22, 2011.Reuters

Peer was plagued by unforced errors (36 to 25 ) and did relatively poorly when approaching the net. She also continued to struggle to hold serve, trailing 4-1 and 5-3 in the first set. She broke Martinez Sanchez to take a 6-5 lead but was broken right back before dropping the tiebreaker.

Her first-round exit was the fourth such time for Peer in Grand Slam play, and the third in her last four tournaments. She has been knocked out of the second round three times, the third round seven times, the fourth round six times and the quarterfinals twice.